Statement from President Ronald
Reagan, November 22, 1983
Each time we send a mission to
space, we enter an area stretching millions of miles beyond the surface
of the Earth. This effort is the focus of the hopes, dreams and daring
of innumerable men and women who have made it the last great frontier of
As we seek to conquer this frontier,
we stand on the shoulders of giants of science out of the past whose scientific
knowledge, like science itself, knows no international boundaries. It is
most fitting then, that this ninth Space Shuttle mission, a true international
cooperative endeavor, be devoted solely to the pursuit of increased scientific
information in orbit.
Spacelab, which will orbit the
earth in the Shuttle's cargo bay, is the first full-scale scientific laboratory
to go into space. It was funded, developed, and built by the European Space
Agency. I congratulate our European friends on this magnificent achievement.
A dedicated team of European scientists and engineers worked ten years
to complete it. The United States is proud to be a partner in what is the
largest international space project in history.
Spacelab will open new opportunities
for scientific research, experimentation, and expanded industrial applications
to better our lives on earth and allow us to do work in space to create
jobs on our planet. In future years, we will look back on this mission
marking the first flight of a non-American aboard the Shuttle as a milestone
in our international cooperative efforts to use space for peaceful purposes
benefitting all mankind
We send our best wishes to the
crew of the Columbia as they set out on their journey. May Captain John
Young and Pilot Brewster Shaw, Mission Specialists Owen Garriott and Bob
Parker, and Payload Specialists Ulf Merbold of ESA and Byron Lichtenberg
all have a successful mission.
Bon voyage and God bless you.